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[i]George Goldey's first space cover is the test cover for the early U.S. satellite success of Explorer 1, an attempt by the United States to put a scientific satellite into orbit as part of the worldwide scientific effort devoted to International Geophysical Year (IGY). Explorer-1, the U.S.' first orbiting satellite, was successfully launched by the U.S. Army's Ballistics Missile Agency lead by the Wernher von Braun rocket team, JPL, and CalTech, on a Juno-1 rocket at 10:58 pm EST, January 31, 1958, from LC-26, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.[/i]
[i]Goldey's inventiveness and attention to all important space event details is shown with this recent discovery of a matching designed Goldey space page to compliment the issue of his first space cover for the launch of the IGY Explorer-1 satellite, January 31, 1958 at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. Goldey was presumed pleased with this space cover and space page combination and continued to make several additional space cover pages for other early U.S. missile related events. The Goldey designed page for the "Explorer-1 Satellite", shown above, was purchased for a nominal price at the annual Space Unit meeting and space trade session in Queens, NY, in 2008.[/i]
[b]Space Cover #176: George Goldey, Explorer-1 Space Cover Page[/b]
George Goldey was a pioneer space cover maker, but he also proved he was quite an inventor, too. Living in Canton, Texas, he began making first day covers for stamps being issued by the U.S. Post Office Department in the mid 1950's, and Goldey made cachets for political events happening in Texas. Goldey had his peculiarities, too, and often made covers about subjects with the word "gold" in them too. He also became fascinated with the U.S. space program. He adamantly adopted the U.S. space program as his own, becoming a space cover cachet maker at the dawn of the U.S.' space program in 1958.
As a footnote to history, remember, NASA had just been created by the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, PL 85-568, October 1, 1958. In part, the advent of NASA was necessitated by what was seen by many Americans as USSR Soviet superiority in space technology outpacing American efforts with the stunning launch of the USSR's Sputnik space satellite, October 4, 1957, the first space satellite to orbit the Earth. Following this Soviet achievement was the incredible launch of space dog Laika (meaning "Barker" in Russian) in Sputnik-2, November 3, 1957, the first animal launched into space. With his earlier cover making experience under his belt, George Goldey was adept at making first day and political event covers. Now, Goldey shifted the focus of his cover making efforts to making space covers, highlighting America's fledgling space program's accomplishments.
Goldey's design of his first space cover pictures a stylized rocket being launched into orbit from (Cape) Canaveral, Florida, with a supporting comment from then President Dwight D. Eisenhower, remarking, "A great scientific achievement." This basic stylized cachet design is a favorite of Goldey and appears later with basically the same design, but in different colors, and also including the addition of the name of his space cover enterprise, Goldcraft. Later, his enterprise also is seen as Gold Craft as George Goldey becomes a major player in the space cover making community.
A George Goldey proof cover is shown in red and black color with the enterprise name of Gold Craft Cachet for the Explorer-1 satellite flight, January 31, 1958, and the proof cover used later by George Goldey for correspondence with a customer in 1960. This particular cachet design continues to be popular with Goldey and is also used with various design modifications and color changes for the Greb satellite June 28, 1961, Transit-4B satellite November 15, 1961, Titan-1 Final Test December 13, 1961, and Gemini-1 Test of April 8, 1964. The proof George Goldey cover pictured is from the Goldey cover collection of the author.
Goldey's space cover pages pick-up the basic design of his first space cover with two stylized space rockets balancing his page design with a globe of the Earth and two space satellites spinning in orbit around the Earth from both the left and right perspectives. The page then has room for centrally showcasing the space event cover with a brief write-up on the significance of the space event. In the write-up for Explorer-1 on his "Explorer 1 Satellite" space cover page, Goldey writes, "United States Army successfully entered Space Age January 31, 1958, with successful launching of first free world satellite, Explorer-1." "Explorer-1: Weight, 30.8 lbs., tube-shaped, 80 inches long. Time of orbit, 113.35 minutes, speed, 19,000 mph, maximum height 1,509.9 miles, minimum height, 218.2 miles. Expected to stay in orbit 3 to 5 years." All this is from a space cover and space page inventor, too.
It is not known how many special George Goldey space cover pages were made, in what quantities, nor is it known what was the last space cover page Goldey made. It is conceivable that he may never have sold his space cover pages, too. The author's presumption is that Goldey gave them to his best customers as a sign of appreciation for their patronage and interest in his space covers. This is known for sure. Goldey was an early proponent of space cover collecting of major space events and was a tremendous promoter of space covers. And, Goldey proved he was an inventor, too. George Goldey also had an irascible side, and on one occasion known to the author, chased a group of space cover collectors off his property with a shotgun. Well, the author understands you can do things like that in Texas.
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